Women's Lax Falls in BIG EAST Tourney to Top-Seeded Florida
May 3, 2018
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Marquette sophomore goalkeeper Julianna Horning set the BIG EAST Championship single-game record with 17 saves in the team’s tournament debut, but it wasn’t enough to upend top-seeded and host No. 6/9 Florida Gators, who triumphed, 19-8, in a BIG EAST semifinal on Thursday.
Horning had it working in the opening 30 minutes, setting the BIG EAST Championship record for saves in a half (13) on the way to claiming the single-game standard as well as tying the single-game record for ground balls (8).
Offensively, the Golden Eagles hung in for the majority of the first half as Megan Menzuber notched a pair of goals. But Lindsey Ronbeck and company scored four of the last five goals to take a 10-4 advantage into halftime. Ronbeck had five tallies in the first half on the way to a BIG EAST Championship record eight goals to lead all scorers.
The Gators (15-3) imposed their will defensively, disrupting the Marquette offense to the tune of 23 turnovers. What hurt Marquette in an 18-6 loss earlier this season was draw controls, but it wasn’t the biggest factor today as Florida won that battle by a narrow 15-14 margin.
Turnovers, plus the Gators’ relentless pursuit offensively, led to Florida setting the BIG EAST Championship single-game record for shots (45). After Ronbeck’s eight goals, it was the Pirreca sisters combining for seven scores to account for the majority of production.
Marquette’s season comes to an end, but not before setting numerous records and milestones, including the team’s first-ever trip to the BIG EAST Championship. The Golden Eagles set single-season standards for goals, assists, points, draw controls and ground balls and return the majority of the team next year.
Florida advances to play the winner of Thursday's second semifinal between No. 2 Georgetown/No. 3 Denver. Saturday's championship game is slated for 11 a.m. Central time with the winner earning the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
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